Redefine marriage and you'll encourage polygamist agendas. At least that's the view of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), and one I share. According to the ACL, "It's important that the definition of marriage remains the union of a man and a woman" not two men or two women – and certainly not four women and one man. Also, "It's important that marriage is not watered down to include polygamy, such as is being debated in Canada."
Labor must win back voters lost to the Greens by advocating stronger action on climate change and supporting gay marriage, according to a secret internal review of the party's performance that also urges the government to do more to court votes in immigrant communities. Details of the Australian Labor Party's 2010 National Review, obtained exclusively by The Australian, call for a series of reforms to the party's strategy and campaign tactics after the government came close to losing power in last year's election. According to sources, the review finds the campaign functioned professionally at a national level but was derailed by government leaks and damaged by policy mistakes and tactical errors such as the cash-for-clunkers scheme and the climate change citizens' assembly policy.
Gay and lesbian Americans embroiled in court action against laws that discriminate against same-sex couples have welcomed the Obama administration's decision to drop its support for a statute that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman. But its decision to no longer support the Defence of Marriage Act reignited fierce debate and pointed to a looming showdown in Congress between Democrats and Republicans. The Attorney-General, Eric Holder, disclosed the policy reversal on Wednesday, saying the administration would no longer defend the act. Mr Holder said he and President Barack Obama agreed that the law was unconstitutional and discriminated against same-sex couples, who are legally married under state law, but whose status is not recognised by the federal government.
The militant Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir yesterday denounced his trial on terrorism charges as a conspiracy orchestrated by Australia and America as he defended taking up arms against the ''hostile'' infidel. Part sermon, part legal defence, Mr Bashir's 90-minute address to a South Jakarta court was shown live on television and contained a thinly veiled plea to his incarcerated supporters not to testify against him. As he spoke, about 300 Islamists watching proceedings outside the court pumped their fists in the air and shouted ''God is great'' when they felt Mr Bashir had made a winning point, or cited the Koran.
It is possible for an assisted suicide clinic to open in London thanks to last year’s prosecution guidelines, a euthanasia campaigner wrongly claimed on the BBC last night. The guidelines would not allow such a move, but the startling claim was made by controversial euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke – known as Dr Death. He was speaking to BBC Wales about his workshop tour of the UK.
The divides of religion and culture must be bridged to find a common language to help stop the worldwide spread of HIV. During the past year, I have been involved in conferences around the world to deal with the spread of HIV. While people had that as a common goal, there was another problem - finding a common ground for dialogue. My days in court were easier. At least there, a common language was spoken. People mostly shared common assumptions. Laws and traditions identified the boundaries for disagreement. Compromise, or at least resolution, was normally achievable. And when it was not, there was a general understanding of the other point of view; sometimes even a grudging respect for it.
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